Have you ever thought taking good pictures of your kids is impossible? Well, they grow up really fast, so don’t let the excuse of their excitement and activeness hold you back from capturing these precious moments slipping by ever so quickly. Taking good pictures of kids require something more than good photography skills. Unlike grown up models, kids seldom respond well to strict instructions like ‘stand straight’, ‘look that way’, ‘don’t run’ and so on. So these are some easy tips to take better photos of your little ones.
5 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Children
Relax and let the photos happen
If you have ever attempted to take your kid’s pictures, you must know that dictating does not work. Relax, because this puts your kids in a normal state. Let your kid warm up to the environment; don’t ask them to start posing for you right away. In fact, this is a good tip to remember whenever you try to take kids’ picture- no posing. This puts them in a sort of comical caricature of poses they have gleaned from photographs of adults. Authentic smiles, faces lit up with joy- these make a good photo. Another tip is to refrain from saying ‘cheese’. Well, unless you want strained, bare-every-tooth kind of smile. To take good photographs that capture real emotions and expressions, just go with the flow. Let the photo come to you, don’t try to extract it by micro-managing your kid.
Be patient, but ready
If you lose patience, you might as well pack up your camera and be done with it because good photos from kids do not come easily. Or quickly. Sometimes kids feel too shy to get their photos taken, so let that initial shyness wear off. If you sneak a photo and get caught, tantrums and annoyance is sure to follow. You also need to be ready to take a photo at any given moment. Capturing motion is essential when photographing kids because splashing in the water, jumping into puddles- all of these create great pictures. For this, you need to increase the shutter speed of your camera. At low shutter speed, you will capture only blurry photos, not distinct photos freezing the motion. Continuous shooting mode also helps in capturing motion. If you have a point and shoot camera, try the sports mode to get better results.
Be a photographer
On this day, during the photo shoot, you have to turn off the parent in you. This means no scolding when your kid rolls around on the ground, no shouting when she jumps into a muddy puddle or makes a mess in your room, no saying ‘no’ when she wants to try on your lipstick (and smears it all over her face). Today, you’re their photographer and want them to run wild and free. Also, any negativity will kill the mood of the photo shoot and who wants to capture sour, tear-blotched faces to cherish for years? Also, be prepared to play with your kid to bring out joyful expressions. For this, you need to time your photo shoot well. Don’t schedule a session in the afternoon, right after they are up from their afternoon nap when they can be cranky and not co-operate at all. Choose a time when they are usually happy and like to play. Take some time, let them have a snack after their nap. Then bring out your camera and start clicking. Well rested and well fed kids make better subjects than grumpy, hungry ones.
Let them dress up and talk
This works especially well for little girls. Most little girls like dressing up and being a little princess. Even boys can take part in dressing up by putting on cowboy hats or a cape or a Batman mask. By stoking this interest, you will make them comfortable and more camera ready. Moreover, the process of dressing up (and making up, if you are able to relax that much) creates lots of opportunity of nice, candid shots. It helps in incorporating lots of colors into the frame which makes their faces pop. This also puts them at ease and gets them talking. Once your kid starts talking, you will see how their faces transform into loud and bold expressions. If they lose themselves in talking, you have good chances of catching a nice smile or a fervent laugh. Singing songs or dancing also helps in bringing out good photos.
Up- or down? – close
If you want to capture your kid’s face, don’t do it from afar. Their dewy faces should fill every frame they are in. Good photos are hard to come by when it comes to kids, so you do not want to be missed in elaborate scenery at the back. Also, change up the point of view. You can take a photo from your height with your kid looking up and the sky reflecting in their bright, sparkly eyes. But also take some close up shots by sitting down or lying on your stomach in front of them. You can even make it into a game by asking them to lie on their stomach and then you do the same. To see an adult rolling on the ground sets off giggles and you get a precious photo. But remember, do not be a distraction. Let them be themselves while you discreetly take pictures from up close. In fact, any sort of distraction is a big no-no for kids’ photo shoots. If you have ever taken picture of- or been in the vicinity of- kids, you would know how short their attention spans are.
These are some general tips that you can follow to take better pictures of your kids. Apart from that, you should keep the flashes at bay. Remember how we don’t want any distraction? Well, flashes are distracting and your kid’s face would look best in natural lighting. Even if you are taking photos indoors, try to use light sources other than your flash for a good photograph.